Assessing the quality of our library services.

The next #UKmedlibs chat is on Tuesday 18th October at our usual time of 8pm where we will be focusing on the LQAF and library quality standards.  This is a particularly UK-centric discussion topic, so I apologise to those that don’t know what LQAF stands for – it stands for Library Quality Assurance Framework, and is an annual process whereby NHS (and some academic) library staff self-assess their libraries against an agreed set of criteria. However, if you run your own quality assessments in your libraries we would love to hear from you too as we’d like to know what we could do better so do join in and tell us how you support quality assurance processes in your library.

In any case I am sure we could hear the multitude of sighs of relief from around the country towards the end of the summer as the last t was crossed, and the last I dotted on this year’s annual LQAF return. I even admit to completing two (!) this year – one at my old job before I left and one at my new job just after I started, now that’s persistence (or foolishness) for you!

The quality of our healthcare libraries remains an important topic and so another K4H Task and Finish group has popped up as we attempt to redefine quality standards  and develop a new evaluation framework for NHS funded libraries (particularly as so many other things are changing as a result of Knowledge for Health).

So, the questions for this topic are:

1)    What do you think quality assurance is – how do you define quality?

2)    How does your LQAF or quality assurance process get completed? – by the library manager, another individual, or the whole team – why?

3)    Do you find the LQAF a useful tool for measuring library quality?

4)    What impact does your quality assurance process have on your library services?

5)    Has measuring quality helped improve on your library services? – e.g. cost effectiveness, working with other LKS

6)    Has the LQAF motivated you to widen your service offer?

7)    Does having a quality assurance process encourage you to reach new clients?

8)    Has the LQAF provided impetus to embed your library services deeper in organisation?

9)    An evaluation/quality framework would be even better if……

Do come along – we want to reflect on the current process but are also very keen to explore how other healthcare libraries determine that they run a quality service so please don’t assume that you can’t contribute if you don’t use the LQAF because I am sure that we have much to learn from you.


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